Facts, Fiction, Lies and actual accounts

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by terryl965, Apr 30, 2012.

  1. terryl965

    terryl965 <center><font size="2"><B>Martial Talk Ultimate<BR

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    TKD has had more of everything I listed above, but let's examine this a little further shall we.

    First off what is truely a fact and a fiction on the actual accounts of TKD in the world?

    Lies who really started all these lies about the time of TKD and why?

    Actual accounts: to me this is our biggest fraud those people that say this is what my Master - GrandMaster says so it os the truth.

    First off TKD got it name in the Fifties if I am not mistaken so Korea could never have an TKD art or sport prior to that it was called Korean Karate. So TKD is only about 60 years old and the sport is probaly more like 40 -45 years old.

    What happens when 25 senior Koreans get together but none of there story connect which one to believe? For me and alot of us it would be our instructors, since we have been with them for a long time training and believeing.

    Since most Korean instructor refuse to believe most Korean instructor how do we the general public believe each other?

    I know alot of question with very little answers so I will see where this goes and for how long. I will chime in everyday at some point to give my two cents worth but most will not believe.
     
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  2. StudentCarl

    StudentCarl 3rd Black Belt

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    In Candide, Voltaire mocks European nobility of the middle ages. In the first chapter, Voltaire describes Candide as someone "...whom this young lady would never marry because he could only prove seventy-one quarterings (generations), and the rest of his genealogical tree was lost, owing to the injuries of time."

    Voltaire ridiculed lineage as a measure of class, and I'm with him. Long history doesn't guarantee quality.

    Time distorts history just as it slowly bends, distorts, and breaks our bodies and our memories.

    I listen with interest to the stories, but believe that very little claimed history is without some spin or distortion. History has always been a tool of marketing and persuasion, despite the best efforts of those who seek truth. The truth is that even if you were there, not everyone who was there with you saw what you saw and interpreted it the same way.

    There is a relationship aspect to this that matters. If you have a long-standing relationship with an instructor you respect and trust, you are more likely to accept and repeat the history they teach you. It's not right or wrong, but it's how people are.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2012
  3. Earl Weiss

    Earl Weiss Senior Master

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    I think we need to understand different perspectives. Adoption of the name is well documented. A good question would be why was a name neccessary. We know the various Kwans were practicing different types of japanese or Okinawa systems. Why was a single name needed? Was the plan to do what Knao or Funakoshi did? Create not just a name but a single system with well defined parameters or something else? Having a single name encompass a variety of system is not unusual. We say systems from various Ryus referred to as Ju Jitsu. We saw various Okinawan and Japanese systems referred to as Karate. So, if the name Ju Jitsu or Karate did not exist, then did the things they referred to which pre dated the name make them incapable of being called Karate or Ju Jitsu?

    Some say that the art was developed in part to bring something to the International stage for the purpose of familiarizing the world with Korea.

    General Choi's 1965 Book is the first book in English I know of and i believe it was a translation of a prior Korean language edition.


    Yet it states (Page 173) "Most of the patterns have been created and developed by the famous TKD masters in the course of many centuries.. They are classified into 3 main groups: the Sorim School, Soryong School, and Chang Hon School. It is my understnading that Sorim and Soryong were the Korean terms for the Okinawan Shorin and Shorei systems.

    So, it can be seen that the term TKD was used in a somewhat generic fashion referring not only to the then relatively new Chang Hon System but other sytemns generally viewed only as roots or predecessors.

    Perhaps it is a cultural issue, but then again that issue would seem to spread to the terms Karate or Ju Jitsu as well.
     
  4. Gorilla

    Gorilla Master of Arts

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    This was what we were told by our original GM. That Korea has a long history in the Martial Arts. That was supresssed by the Japanese during the occupation during WW2. That the originator of our Kwan (Song Moo Kwan) got his BB in Japan while in college from a famous Shotokan Master Funakoshi. After the WW2 he started his school (Kwan). Several other who got BB is Japan also did the same thing. These were the original Kwans. The Kwan's came together in the 50's and 60's and formed TKD. TKD is influenced by Karate and the long history of Martial Arts in Korea.
     
  5. chrispillertkd

    chrispillertkd Senior Master

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    Terry, I agree that if you're looking to find out the actual history of the development of Taekwon-Do then this is something important you'll have to deal with. Not everything you hear from your instructor will be a fiction, of course. But the problem will be with how one goes about verifying the claims one hears. Are there written sources with references available covering not only the founding of Taekwon-Do but also Korean history during the period leading up to and including the founding so people can get a feel for the actual cultural and political climate of the time to better understand the motivations and behaviors of the people involved? Are the main players still alive and willing to talk, in as unbiased a manner as possible, about what happened?

    And, if you're really looking for verifiable facts then people making claims about what they have been told by any of these historical figures should themselves be subject to scrutiny, no? Otherwise it's no different than believing something because your instructor said so.

    Pax,

    Chris
     
  6. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    I won't comment on the rest, as that has been pretty well addressed both here and in other threads.

    Regarding the name being applied to prewar KMA, it would not be the first time that a modern term was retrofitted to encompass older systems. We call lots of things 'boxing,' when they bear little resemblance to western boxing. But boxing is a term that we're familiar with and so we apply it to unarmed fighting.

    Korea did this with the term 'taekwondo' to connect modern TKD with Korea's martial history. Not what I would have done, but the fact that they did it doesn't bother me.

    I like taekwondo. I assume that others who are responding do to. Let's practice it and be happy. I think that the state of taekwondo today is much more important, and I don't feel that taekwondo's connection or lack of connection to prewar KMA has any bearing on the state of the art today.
     
  7. granfire

    granfire Sr. Grandmaster

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    Maybe you guys need to hang out in Germany for a while:
    There is that institution called 'Stammtisch' (like sh, not like in school)

    it is a reserved table at the local pub where the towns people meet, the pub's regulars.
    Most often it is on a Sunday morning. most conversation is lighthearted. But on occasion the yarn is spun.
    Oh another feature of the stammtisch: A bell.
    When the yarn is being spun, every member of the round has the right to challenge the yarn spinner for proof of the truth to his story by ringing the bell.
    here is the deal:
    When the yarn is found to be untrue, the story teller (AKA liar) will buy the next round.
    If however the story is true, the bell ringer will be the one buying.

    I read the history of TKD in Tuttles martial arts.
    It sounded like a bunch of guys with big egos got together and at first could not find it in them to relinquish any of their authority or ego.
    Only when the man with the means arrived on the scene things changed.

    It's 'Stammtisch' material, really. Knock back a few cold ones, nod or ring the bell if you must.

    A hindrance in finding proof - for or against the yarn - in this case is that in the first half of the 20th century Koreans were not at liberty to do (and say) as they pleased.
    Not bad for he mystique of the art/sport though.
    And still we find evidence that a great many 'TKD' masters learned much of their craft in Japan.
    (BTW, i find that amazing. I read about it, but found no explanation as to why they went there and learned Karate, or were allowed to)
     
  8. chrispillertkd

    chrispillertkd Senior Master

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    "Finding evidence" for early Kwan founders studying karate in Japan is pretty easy since they all talk about doing so. Gen. Choi, for example, mentioned it in every book he published. Most, if not all, of the Kwan founders who trained in karate in Japan were there for educational reasons. Japan had invaded Korea and occupied it. Korea was considered a Japanese protectorate pre-WW II.Gen. Choi, Byung In Yoon, Chun Sang Sup, and others went to Japan to get a college education.

    Pax,

    Chris
     
  9. granfire

    granfire Sr. Grandmaster

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    Yes, I read that, too. But that does not explain a thing.

    After all, it seemed that japan was out to quelch much of anything Korean. Why educate some of them? Hoping they become the leaders in their newly Japanified Korea?


    That, to me, is more interesting as to which monk supposedly saw the praying mantis first....


    (plus you completely missed the point on the story telling)
     
  10. Kong Soo Do

    Kong Soo Do IKSDA Director

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    I think it would be of benefit to most to simply look at the bottom line as far as TKD:

    • TKD is not a 2000 year old, indigenous Korean martial art. It is Japanese/Okinawan Karate with a few other things mixed in from various sources. That's okay.
    • With the exception of a few Koreans (I can only think of one off the top of my head who was 5th or 7th Dan depending on the source you wish to believe) most 'seniors' originally were low or no rank practitioners in mainly Karate.
    • TKD was created to shed the Japanese influence and recreate a national martial art.
    • Originally, TKD wasn't sport. That was added later.
    • A lot of seniors did have giant egos which is why so many organizations blew up or imploded. It still happens today. And of course, it isn't limited to TKD (but they sure do have a lion's share).
    • TKD history has been rewritten. Attempts have been made to sanitize it and make it into something it isn't.
    • If you wish to discover its true history...good luck. My advice is to get as many sources as possible, realizing none of them are going to be fully spot on accurate. I don't care who wrote what or when. It is influenced by the views and/or agenda of the author(s). Simply choose one...but don't you dare argue, fuss or whine on internet boards if someone else comes along and disagrees. They just might be a 'little' more right than you, but still not spot on. They may claim to know seniors, have autographed books from them, slept on their floor, used their toothbrush or whatever. The bottom line is that they've made a choice of who to believe but it may not have been the right choice. Or it might be partially correct but laced with that particular 'seniors' agenda.
    • And last but not least, despite the false information, despite the giant egos, despite the 'founders' really had very little experience for the most part (certainly not equal to their seniors in Japan/Okinawa at that time)...train in TKD (or whatever) for what it means to you personally and get the most out of it.
     
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  11. Gorilla

    Gorilla Master of Arts

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    Kong Soo Do....how accurate is your post...it seems very biased and a bit pompous....kinda reminds me of some other folks...thanks for your opinion...giant egos...yep...I glad that you are able to judge with out agenda...you post is fair and balanced...funny...
     
  12. Kong Soo Do

    Kong Soo Do IKSDA Director

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    Interesting. What you describe as pompous others have seen value in as being on the dot accurate. I even got additional rep points for that post (and my thanks to everyone for that).

    If you don't think the post is accurate...why? What part? What are your counter-points?

    Pompous? To just take it to the bottom line for what it is?

    Agenda? What is my agenda? For people to accept it for what it is and simply look past any downside and get the most out of the experience?
     
  13. Gorilla

    Gorilla Master of Arts

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    Self awareness is a gift...your post is somewhat accurate...Tkd has the lions share...your opinion...your post has some truth colored with your opinion...I think you are pompous...still enjoy your posts..

    You come off as Kong Soo Do has spoken!!!
     
  14. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    TKD is a roughly sixty year old art, though saying that it is Japanese/Okinawan karate with a few other things mixed in from various sources is an oversimplification.

    Given that Funakoshi was himself only a fifth dan, that is not surprising.

    Yes.

    The Olympic sport that we see today did come later. But I disagree that sport was 'added' later. I'd say that it was there all along in some form or another.

    I wouldn't say that they have a lion's share. I think that when you have a kind of top-down unification effort, those issues tend to come to the forefront more, as unification goes against individual ego.

    I think that if you want a working history of taekwondo, what is available is fine. If you style yourself as a TKD historian, you've got your work cut out for you.

    Little experience or little rank? I think that on an individual basis, they had a great deal of experience. By experience, I mean training hours and actual practice. Particularly by the mid fifties. I won't get into comparing them to Japanese or Okinawan seniors because the comparison is moot; they were developing a new art.
     
  15. Kong Soo Do

    Kong Soo Do IKSDA Director

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    I'm not responsible for the way you perceive my post(s). I speak plainly and to the point. That seems to upset certain people. But I would suggest that perhaps they should look at the root of why they get upset, rather than getting upset at the messenger.

    I think your perception is clouded by something quite different though based upon your recent postings.

    Anyway, glad you enjoy my posts. :)
     
  16. Gorilla

    Gorilla Master of Arts

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    Kong Soo do thanks for you post....the BBS might get interesting again...yes I am pompous, biased and sometimes arrogant. JUst like you...
     
  17. Kong Soo Do

    Kong Soo Do IKSDA Director

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    No, it isn't. And that's the point.
    He basically was the focal point for the adoption of the Dan/Kyu system into modern Karate. Perhaps it would be interesting to compare his total time in the arts, as well as his instructors to get a better picture of total experience and then use that as your measuring stick.
    And I disagree. But in the end, it really doesn't matter. The two venues exist.

    Generally speaking, both.
     
  18. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    At least, thanks to the internet, the basic facts are out there. (TKD is roughly 60 years old and derived originally from Japanese/Okinawan karate.)

    Besides the stories of TKD history going back hundreds or thousands of years, I remember 25 years ago being told by a TKD black belt that "karate is just bastardized Americanized Tae Kwon Do." I'm sure he was just repeating what his instructor told him and in those days he wouldn't have had so many sources to tell his otherwise.
     
  19. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    I'm sorry, but you're essentially rebutting with 'is not.'

    Just to clarify, are you saying that taekwondo is just Okinawan/Japanese karate with a little bit mixed in from other sources?

    Or are you talking about what taekwondo was in the late forties/early fifties?

    If the latter, I am inclined to agree with you. If the former, then you are oversimplifying. Kukki taekwondo has evolved significantly from what it was prior to the start of unification efforts (five kwan era) and is notably different, has different forms, forms that are not simply reworked karate forms, might I add.

    I'll let Masters Weis and Spillers comment regarding ITF/Chang Hon (I'm not familiar enough with it make a case), but regarding KKW/WTF taekwondo, you are making an oversimplification.

    Arguably, the taekwondo pioneers were the focal point of the kyu/dan system being adopted by postwar KMA. A better yardstick would likely be how much total experience Funakosh had in the art at the point when Shotokan became a fully realized and distinct style (not an expert, but I suspect that it was a process and did not occur overnight) as compared with time in training that the TKD pioneers had by the time taekwondo had become a fully realized and distinct system.

    I would suspect that Funakoshi had considerably more at that point, but my comment was more to emphasize that rank doesn't necessarily equate to experience in the art.

    If you have people competing in any form, performing demonstrations, and practicing for enjoyment, you have sport. All three of those elements were there very early on.

    While they may not have had the same amount of experience in Okinawan or Japanese karate, I would not say they had 'little experience.' They certainly had enough meaningful experience to accomplish what they accomplished.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2012
  20. Kong Soo Do

    Kong Soo Do IKSDA Director

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    Although you may describe yourself as 'pompous, biased or arrogant', I don't believe that I have taken that tact with you. Seems like you have taken this tact with me several times however, not limited to this thread. It isn't needed, constructive or appreciated. This BBS can be 'interesting' without you being insulting.

    Back to the topic please, it is interesting.
     

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